Recent Travel

  • by mpowell

    Hola Oviedo, and hasta pronto Valencia. In a few days, we’ll be packing up our things and moving to the beautiful capital of Asturias for three months. August, September and October will be spent drinking cider.

    Since we won’t be here, Hola Valencia will be taking a little breather. But you can follow our Asturian adventures on a new blog: and twitter account:


    The name “For 91 Days” might give you a hint of the direction in which we’re taking our lives. Basically, we’ll be keeping our furniture and permanent address in Valencia, which will be our base. But for most of the year, we’ll be spending 3 months at a time in random cities around Spain, Europe and the rest of the world. Our jobs are totally mobile, and we’re both born travelers, so we’re really excited to get out there.

    We’ll pick the blog back up when we return to Valencia. But right now, we’ve got to start packing for our temporary move to the northern coast! In this heat, the cool Asturian climate is sounding really good.

    What are your thoughts about Oviedo? Have we picked a good city to live for a few months?

    Car Rentals in Oviedo

  • by mpowell

    For my birthday, Jürgen and I went biking around the mountain of Montgó. Separating the vacation cities of Dénia and Xàbia, the Montgó raises to over 2400 feet and has an impressive, plateau-like profile visible from miles in every direction.

    The Volta al Montgó takes from 2-3 hours, though you should plan on 4 hours if (like us) you constantly pause for pictures. Besides a short but brutal climb into the hillside town of Jesús Pobre, the tour is easy — either flat or downhill. And the nature and beauty of the area is breathtaking.

    We rode through grape fields, groves of olives and orange trees, and into some areas that felt untouched by the passage of time. I loved contemplating the Montgó’s various faces as we circled it, and the mountain’s constant, imposing presence was a comforting sign that we hadn’t gotten lost.

    The land around the Montgó is a natural park which contains some of the most diverse flora and fauna in Spain. Over 50 endemic plant species join animals like eagles, owls, badgers and wild boar. The only wild creature I saw was a crazy photo-snapping German (Fotographus Alemanus), but that didn’t make the trip any less exciting.

    Midway through the trip, we stopped for lunch in the quiet town of Jesús Pobre (I can’t get over that name). Situated on the foothills of the inland side of Montgó, the village boasts an excellent view over the landscape. Replenished by paella, we enjoyed an easy, downhill trip into the southern end of the mountain, La Vall de Sala. We stopped by a cemetery and arrived in Xàbia at around 5.

    That left us enough time to lay on the beach and swim in its crystal blue water. Gorgeous, and the perfect reward for a day of exercise. But our trip wasn’t done yet! In order to return to Dénia, we hopped on a 40-minute ferry around the cape. Cliffs shot vertically from the water, with a blinking lighthouse atop them. The sun was beginning to wane a little, and it was an incredible ending to an incredible day.

    We can really recommend this tour to bikers of any fitness level or experience. It’s easy, though not particularly well-marked — especially coming into Xàbia and in Jesús Pobre, a few important signs are missing. But bring a map, and you’ll be fine. The tourist offices in both Dénia and Xàbia have itineraries of the path.


    Book the Mini Cruise here
    Best way to get to Dénia from Valencia with Bikes
    Low Bugdet Dénia / Low Budget Javea aka Xàbia
    Hotels in Dénia / Hotels in Xàbia

    Cruz Denia
    Flores España
    Rapunzel Tower
    Book Market
    Stierkampf Bar
    Minarette Spain
    Kaktus Blüte
    Korn Blume
    Monkey Bubble Tree
    Montgo Montaña
    Berg Montgo
    Spanische Trauben
    Green Spain
    Sneaky Photographer
    Paella Jesus Pobre
    Dog in Spain
    Spanischer Friedhof
    Three Towers in Spain
    Beach Javea
    Hunk Fishing
    Sailing Boat Javea
    Waiting for the Ferry
    Denia Javea Crise
    Lighthouse Javea
    Lighthouse Javea
    Berg Javea

    Bite Away

  • by mpowell

    There’s been talk of a city-wide bike rental scheme for a long time, and it’s finally here. Introducing Valenbisi.

    We lived in Berlin, where the Deutsche Bahn (the railway company) operated a very popular bike rental service. You’d just type the bike’s serial number into your cell phone, hop on, then park it when done. Very practical, and we’ve been aching for Valencia for implement such a system.

    So Valenbisi, run by the city government, is very welcome. Bikes are the best way to get around Valencia, bar none, and we think that the service is going to be extremely popular. The bikes look sturdy and strong. The prices are reasonable — €10 for a 7-day subscription — the first 30 minutes are always free, then it’s €0,50 for the next 30 mins and €3,00 for every additional hour.

    There’s at least one major problem: the dispersal of the “rental stations”. They’re all in the same area of town! I’d like to say that this was just a roll-out problem, but … check out this map. The red arrows are the current rental stations, and the white ones are the “future” ones:

    Not a single station anywhere in the historic center? Ruzafa? The train station? There must be a reason, but tourist friendly, it’s not. Great for students of the U of Valencia, and perhaps that’s the true target market. (Though if you’re targeting hip college students, this might not be the best image to put on your website).

    Update: The consensus in the comments is that the bikes will be better distributed throughout the city in the future, and there’s a link for future locations can be found there. Valenbisi should put this information on its website.

    Anyway — the addition of 2750 bikes to Valencia’s streets is extremely welcome. We need more bikers on the streets, which will lead to better bike paths and more respect from drivers.

    We’d love some comments from anyone who’s used the service, in regards to the quality of the bikes and the ease of rental.

    Valenbisi’s Web Site (with really bad English! Seriously, guys, hire a translator! There are a few native English speakers in the city)

    Holiday Rentals / Hostels / Hotels

    Cheap Car Hire

  • by valencia blog

    We had earlier reported that Booking Center Online (BCO) had the best prices for car rentals in Valencia … but we’ve found something even better. Decode Worldwide Car Hire has incredibly cheap deals.


    We’ve used them twice, once for our trip to Granada (we paid €12/day for a compact, including everything — even insurance) and again when we went to Segovia (€18/day).

    Decode is not a traditional rental site, because their function is that of a broker. They make deals directly with car rental places and then offer you the best prices.

    Once Decode has suggested the car & “offer price”, you have to wait until the actual car rental agency confirms it. They’ll then send you the booking number and voucher which you need to present when you pick up the car. That process normally takes 3 hours.

    At first we were very skeptical (the main reason it took us so long to blog about it) – I mean, a car for €12/day over a broker? We were more than a little nervous when we picked up the car the first time… when we presented the voucher, the employee couldn’t believe the price we were getting. But after a quick phone call he confirmed: yup it’s €12 a day. Incredible!

    More reasons why you should book with Decode:

    • No hidden fees
    • A huge selection of quality cars
    • Fast and easily comparable quotes
    • The promise of our lowest price guarantee

    We can confirm all of that!

    More info from their site: Not only do we claim the guaranteed lowest prices, we deliver them too. Our staff is constantly contacting rental car providers to negotiate the cheapest and most current prices. If you find a lower price on a different website, we will try and beat the price within 24 hours.

    Give them a try… I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Leave a comment with your experience. We’d love to know if this helps people get great deals!


    More info: Decode Car Hire

    Please note: Last summer, there was a major car rental shortage. The same thing will likely happen again this summer, so book early. Prices are already going up!!!

    Booking Centre Online also has good rates, if you want to compare & contrast.

  • by valencia blog

    Hotels and Hostels in Segovia

    Segovia is an extremely picturesque city. I really couldn’t stop taking shots while we were there, and have so many great images that we had to split it up into two posts. Enjoy this second glance of the wonderful city an hour north of Madrid. Our first post on Segovia can be found here.













































    Hotels and Hostels in Segovia

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